Protect Workers From Fluorescent Lamp Mercury Exposure
OSHA has issued two new educational resources to help protect workers from mercury exposure while crushing and recycling fluorescent lamps. Compact fluorescent lamps are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but the shift to energy-saving fluorescents, which contain mercury, calls for more attention to workers who handle, dispose of, and recycle used fluorescent lamps.
The OSHA fact sheet explains how workers may be exposed, what kinds of engineering controls and personal protective equipment they need, and how to use these controls and equipment properly. In addition, a new OSHA Quick Card alerts employers and workers to the hazards of mercury and provides information on how to properly clean up accidently broken fluorescent bulbs to minimize workers’ exposures to mercury.
Fluorescent lamps can release mercury and may expose workers when they are broken accidentally or crushed as part of the routine disposal or recycling process. Depending on the duration and level of exposure, mercury can cause nervous system disorders such as tremors, kidney problems, and damage to unborn children.
In the following links, you can find additional guidance for cleaning up spills that result from broken fluorescent lamps:
How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS)
OSHA has issued a final rule revising its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This means that virtually every product label, MSDS (called “safety data sheet” or SDS under the new standard), and written hazard communication plan must be revised to meet the new standard. Worker training must be updated so that workers can recognize and understand the symbols and pictograms on the new labels as well as the new hazard statements and precautions on SDSs.
Environmental Resource Center is offering webcast training for you to learn how the new rule differs from current requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Register for an upcoming webcast on How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) offered on the following dates:
How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets
OSHA has adopted the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. A cornerstone of GHS is the adoption of a completely revised Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In Environmental Resource Center’s new, How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast, you will learn the differences between the MSDS and SDS, how to author SDSs that meet the latest OSHA standards, how to classify your products according to the 28 GHS hazard classes and 88 categories, what must be entered in each section of the SDS, essential references you can use to locate data for each section of the SDS, and how to handle trade secrets.
To learn what you must do to meet the new SDS requirements, attend How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast on October 3, 2012.
How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard
Workplace and supplier hazard communication labels are being reinvented with OSHA’s adoption of the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling hazardous chemicals. In a new, interactive Environmental Resource Center webcast, How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard, you will learn the difference between workplace and supplier labels; what signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and pictograms must be on your labels; essential references you can use to locate required label information; and how to label products with existing HMIS, NFPA, DOT, and CPSC labels.
The How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard webcast will be offered on October 4, 2012.
Birmingham RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Birmingham, Alabama, from August 14–16 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Cary 40-Hour and 24-Hour HAZWOPER Training
Environmental Resource Center will offer 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training September 10–14, and 24-Hour HAZWOPER training September 10–12 in Cary, North Carolina. To register for either HAZWOPER course, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Pittsburgh RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from September 11–12 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
OSHA Seeks Nominations for Members to Serve on MACOSH
OSHA has announced that nominations are being accepted for members to serve on the upcoming Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH).
The Secretary of Labor and OSHA intend to re-charter MACOSH for two years when the current charter expires January 25, 2013.
MACOSH functions as an advisory body and reports to the Secretary of Labor through OSHA on matters relating to occupational safety and health programs, enforcement, new initiatives, and standards for maritime industries, including longshoring, marine terminals, and shipyard employment. The committee makes recommendations and assists the department and OSHA on policy issues about safe and healthful employment in maritime industries. MACOSH consists of no more than 15 members appointed by the Secretary.
Nominations of new members or resubmissions of former or current members will be accepted for those interested in representing employers, employees, safety and health professional organizations, and government organizations. Members serve two-year terms.
Individuals may submit nominations electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent by mail or facsimile. Nominations must be submitted by September 17, 2012.
AIHA Announces AIHA Fellows Scholarship Program
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Fellows special interest group (SIG) is pleased to announce the creation of the AIHA Fellows Scholarship. During the annual SIG meeting at AIHce 2012, AIHA Fellows were called to raise $100,000 to fund the new scholarship.
AIHA Fellows Dave Gioiello and Denese Deeds challenged their colleagues to raise the funds within one year. In less than six weeks since the annual SIG meeting, AIHA Fellows have raised more than $26,000. The first AIHA Fellows Scholarship will be awarded in 2013, under the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation.
The Fellow designation was established to recognize members who have been Full members in good standing for 15 years of continuous membership and have made recognized contributions to industrial hygiene or related disciplines, either through research, leadership, publications, education, or service to AIHA. The Fellow designation is limited to no more than 5% of the membership. There are currently 345 AIHA Fellows.
Oregon OSHA Urges Caution Following Three Workplace Carbon Monoxide Incidents
In recent weeks, employees at three different Portland, Oregon-area worksites were exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide while operating gas-powered equipment. Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is urging employers to take precautions to avoid carbon monoxide exposure, which can cause nausea, dizziness, headache, or in extreme cases, death.
Oregon OSHA is investigating the following three cases:
- Several workers became ill July 17 after an employee began using a gas-powered pressure washer to clean a refrigerated room at a fruit processing plant. A total of 23 people went to the hospital, many of whom didn’t recognize the symptoms until it was too late.
- On July 18, construction workers in a warehouse were operating a gas-powered saw and other internal combustion engine equipment at the same time. Despite the employer’s effort to keep air moving with commercial fans, it wasn’t enough to avoid an overexposure.
- In the third incident, also on July 18, a worker using a gas-powered saw in a manhole was overcome by carbon monoxide and lost consciousness.
Prolonged or high exposure to carbon monoxide may worsen symptoms, which can also include vomiting, confusion, collapse, and muscle weakness. Symptoms can vary from person to person.
Heaters, generators, sprayers, pressure washers, drywall equipment, forklifts, and anything else with an internal combustion engine or that burns a petroleum fuel, gas, wood, or coal are examples of equipment that can pose a risk, especially in an enclosed space.
MSHA Announces Results of Impact Inspections
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced that federal inspectors issued 177 citations, 22 orders, and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at nine coal mines and three metal/nonmetal mines in June 2012.
The monthly inspections, which began in force in April 2010 following the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns, including high numbers of violations or closure orders; frequent hazard complaints or hotline calls; plan compliance issues; inadequate workplace examinations; a high number of accidents, injuries, or illnesses; fatalities; and adverse conditions such as increased methane liberation, faulty roof conditions, and inadequate ventilation.
As an example from last month, MSHA conducted an impact inspection on June 21 during the second shift at Bledsoe Coal Corp.’s, Abner Branch Rider Mine in Leslie County, Kentucky. Inspectors immediately seized and monitored the mine’s communications systems to ensure that advance notification was not provided to the miners underground.
The 19 citations and 12 withdrawal orders inspectors issued as a result of violations found effectively shut down the entire mine for eight days. Violations included accumulations of combustible materials in the motor compartment of a utility vehicle located in the primary escapeway; accumulations of loose coal, coal dust, black float coal dust, and hydraulic oil on the roof bolting machine, along the mine floor and against the ribs; and an improperly functioning methane monitor, which did not provide a warning or de-energize the mechanized mining unit when necessary. MSHA also cited the operator for defective, bare electrical wires and inadequate splices on the utility vehicle in the primary escapeway. If left uncorrected, these conditions could spark a methane ignition, which, combined with inadequate rockdusting, could cause or contribute to a coal dust explosion.
Additionally, the mine operator did not provide adequate roof/rib control and failed to follow the mine’s approved roof control plan. The operator also failed to identify, record, and correct the absence of mesh that would prevent the fall of sections of the mine’s ribs and roof.
On April 12, 2011, MSHA had issued a pattern of violations notice to the Abner Branch Rider Mine, one of only two mines ever to receive such a notice. Since then, the mine has been issued 53 orders.
Last month’s impact inspection was the third conducted at the Abner Branch Rider Mine. The mine’s operations returned to normal on June 29 after the violations were abated and the withdrawal orders terminated.
As a second example from last month, MSHA personnel conducted an impact inspection on June 20 at Tunnel Ridge LLC’s, Tunnel Ridge Mine in Ohio County, West Virginia, during the evening shift. The inspection party secured the mine’s phones to prevent advance notice of the inspection. MSHA issued 34 enforcement actions, including 29 citations and five unwarrantable failure orders. This impact inspection was the second of the Tunnel Ridge Mine.
An unwarrantable failure order was issued for failure to maintain the intake escapeway on the longwall section from the mine’s working face. The escapeway was obstructed with mud and water up to 15 inches deep for a distance of 300 feet. A subsequent order was issued for the mine operator’s failure to identify this hazardous condition during the preshift examination. By not recognizing and recording this hazard, the mine operator placed miners at risk of not having a safe way to exit the mine.
The mine operator also was cited for failing to conduct required methane tests at each working face. The Tunnel Ridge Mine has a history of methane liberation. Failure to perform adequate methane checks during the mining and roof bolting cycle could allow an unknown quantity of methane gas to accumulate without miners’ knowledge and lead to a possible methane ignition.
An additional order was issued for the mine operator’s failure to conduct an adequate preshift examination of the section. Conducting proper examinations and correcting hazardous conditions are essential to protect the health and safety of miners. Inadequate examinations allow miners to remain in areas where hazardous conditions may exist which, if left uncorrected, expose miners to the risk of severe injuries, illnesses, or death.
Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 464 impact inspections, which have resulted in a total of 8,283 citations, 833 orders, and 33 safeguards.
A. Finkl & Sons Cited for Failing to Maintain Cranes
OSHA has cited specialty metal forgings producer A. Finkl & Sons Co., with 26 safety violations at the company’s Chicago, Illinois, facility, including two willful violations that involve failing to provide fall protection around open pits and rectify multiple hazards found in crane inspections. Proposed penalties total $352,700.
OSHA initiated an inspection in February after receiving a complaint alleging that cranes used in the facility were in disrepair, including having malfunctioning hoisting brakes, and that powered industrial trucks were being operated by untrained workers.
Specifically, the willful violations are failing to ensure that open pits are guarded by standard railings and/or covers to protect employees from falling in, and failing to correct deficiencies identified by crane inspections such as missing bolts, inoperable radio controls, and problems with bridges, trolleys, and main hoist brakes. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Twenty-two serious violations involve failing to install hoist guards on industrial cranes, ensure that independent hoisting units on all cranes that handle hot metal have at least two holding brakes, ensure that all crane trolleys and bridges are equipped with brakes that have ample thermal capacity for the equipment’s frequency of operation and which prevent the impairment of functions due to overheating, ensure that a thorough inspection of all crane ropes is completed, ensure that loads are lifted in a manner to prevent swinging on cranes, and have a responsible person on-site with knowledge of cranes. Other violations include failing to ensure that ladders are placed in a manner that provides secure footing for workers, store liquefied petroleum gas containers away from stairways or other exit areas, adequately outline the rules for lockout/tagout procedures, guard live electrical parts over 50 volts, protect electrical conductors entering boxes from abrasion, and visually inspect portable plug- and cord-connected equipment for defects. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
One repeat violation involves failing to ensure that powered industrial trucks are examined prior to being placed into service as well as keep the trucks in a clean condition, free from lint, excess oil, and grease. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2006 at the same facility.
One other-than-serious violation is failing to create, certify, and post the OSHA 300A summary log of injuries and illnesses or an equivalent form for the year 2011 by February 1, 2012. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Due to the willful and repeat violations and the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed A. Finkl & Sons Co., in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations.
The company previously has been inspected by OSHA 24 times since 1970, with 17 inspections resulting in citations for various violations. The two most recent previous inspections, in 2006 and 2007, resulted in citations for willful and repeat violations related to fire and fall hazards.
A. Finkl & Sons Co., employs 398 workers at its Chicago plant.
Parker Hannifin Cited for Exposing Workers to Amputation, Electrical Hazards
OSHA has cited Parker Hannifin Corp., with nine safety violations at the company’s metal fabricating plant in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, including two repeat violations for failing to protect workers from amputation and electrical hazards by ensuring the use of machine guards on mills and conducting periodic inspections of energy control procedures. An inspection was initiated after OSHA received a complaint. Proposed penalties total $123,300.
Similar violations were cited at Parker Hannifin facilities in Batesville, Mississippi, in May 2011, and Columbus, Ohio, in February 2010.
Seven serious safety violations involve forcing employees to work over unprotected acid vats and dip tanks, failing to inspect the ventilation system for the acid vats thoroughly and often, failing to provide sufficient lockout procedures, failing to properly mark electrical equipment, failing to cover numerous unused openings in energized electrical panels, failing to train workers on electrical safety, de-energize electrical equipment prior to allowing maintenance, and failing to provide workers with personal protective equipment while working near exposed energized parts.
Parker Hannifin Corp., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has facilities throughout the US and in 46 other countries. The Grantsburg plant, which manufactures fluid power valves and hose fittings, among other products, employs about 300 workers. The employer has a history of previous violations at its Mississippi, New York, and Ohio operations.
Dukane Precast Cited for Failing to Call Emergency Services After Worker Seriously Injured When Engulfed in Sand
OSHA has cited Dukane Precast Inc., in Naperville, Illinois, with four safety violations, including one willful violation, for failing to immediately call emergency services when a worker became engulfed in a sand bin and suffered serious crushing injuries. Plant employees allegedly attempted to rescue the worker for more than an hour before the company summoned emergency assistance. Proposed fines total $70,000.
The willful violation is for failing to immediately call rescue services when the worker became engulfed in sand after he had walked into the bin and onto the sand to level it.
Three serious safety violations have been cited for failing to maintain a railing to protect workers from dangerous equipment, prevent unauthorized workers from entering a permit-required confined space and prepare entry permits prior to entering a confined space.
Dukane Precast Inc., is a concrete manufacturer that employs 90 workers. The company has been inspected by OSHA 14 times since 1981, and has been issued a total of 25 violations.
Utility Contractor Cited for Willful and Serious Safety Violations; Nearly $66,000 in Penalties
OSHA has cited Site Engineering Inc., for one willful and two serious safety violations after conducting a planned inspection of the company’s work site in Atlanta, Georgia. OSHA began its inspection in February as part of the agency’s national emphasis program to reduce injuries at trenching and excavation construction sites. Proposed penalties total $65,800.
The willful violation involves failing to remove workers from a trench that had an inadequate protective system and therefore exposed them to the hazard of a possible cave-in. Although the company had a competent person on-site who should have recognized this hazard, there was no evidence that any action was taken to protect the workers. The citation carries a $56,000 penalty.
The serious violations involve failing to train workers to recognize trenching and excavation hazards, and provide head protection for an employee working inside a 17-foot-deep trench who was exposed to struck-by hazards from an excavator bucket and falling objects overhead. The citations carry penalties of $9,800.
Site Engineering is based in Atlanta and specializes in utility construction projects.
Allied Waterproofing Cited for Exposing Workers to Respiratory, Hearing Hazards
OSHA has cited Allied Waterproofing Inc., in Willowbrook, Illinois, with five health violations, including four repeat violations of OSHA’s respiratory protection and hearing conservation standards, found during an inspection of a Chicago parking structure under repair. Proposed penalties total $56,700.
The April inspection was initiated under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Silica, which targets work sites where employees are at risk for developing silicosis from exposure to dust containing respirable crystalline silica. Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by breathing in a large amount of silica.
The repeat violations involve failing to ensure that air compressors used to supply breathing air were equipped with high temperature and/or carbon monoxide alarms, employees required to use a respirator were provided medical evaluations, and an effective hearing conservation program was maintained. Similar violations were cited at a Rolling Meadows job site in 2007 and 2008. One serious violation was assessed for failing to annually conduct fit testing for workers who wear respirators.
Allied Waterproofing Inc., performs concrete restoration and repairs.
Manufacturer Fined Over $52,000 for 16 Safety and Health Violations
Curahee Group, doing business as Pak Pro LLC, in Toccoa, Georgia, has been cited by OSHA for 16 safety and health violations. OSHA initiated an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.
Fifteen serious safety and health violations carrying proposed penalties totaling $52,360 involve failing to create a lockout/tagout program for machines’ energy sources to protect workers who are required to maintain and repair equipment, reduce the pressure on an air hose to less than 30lb per square inch, ensure that industrial truck operators complete required training, provide equipment guarding on a band saw and bench grinder, ensure the use of personal protective equipment by workers exposed to potential eye hazards while using a solution that contains ammonia, store oxygen and acetylene cylinders at least 20 feet apart, and ensure access to portable fire extinguishers. Additional violations include having an exit door that does not swing in the outward direction, various electrical deficiencies, and exposing employees to struck- or crushed-by hazards.
One other-than-serious violation is failing to inspect portable fire extinguishers on a monthly basis. The citation does not carry a monetary penalty.
The company manufactures commercial packaging.
Because spills cause an impact to the environment, facilities always are required to notify of any spill and to take immediate action to offset damage from the spill.
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